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Part I - Journey To India . Part II - The Obsession . Part III - The Holy Drink . Part IV - The Coffee Houses . Part V - Coffee & Sex
Coffee History

Coffee History Part One

Gahwa is an age old custom.

The discovery of coffee as a delicious beverage occurred before the 13th Century. The name
coffee is derived from the Arabic term kahway or Gahwa, which later gave rise to the English word coffee.

The preparation, serving and drinking of gahwa (Arabian coffee) are individual rituals derived from Bedouin hospitality. These traditions are still practiced today with the same ceremonies and etiquette which have prevailed for centuries. Click HERE to learn The Bedouin Tradition of serving Gahwa.
According to legend,
Arabian coffee-drinking began almost 12 centuries
ago (850 A.D.) when an Abyssinian goat herder
named Khalid noticed that while the afternoon sun
made him drowsy, his flock frolicked and skipped
about after nibbling at some berries. Khalid either
ate the berries whole, or ground and boiled the them.

When his wife saw how energetic the normally
exhausted Khalid was, she urged him to share this
miraculous discovery with the local holy man at the
monastery. The chief monk did not share Khalid's
enthusiasm. Declaring the berries
"the work of the
he flung them into a fire to banish their
offending presence. Soon the room filled with the
delicious aroma of roasting berries, and other monks
hurried in to discover the source of this new delight.
The chief monk retrieved the smoldering berries, deposited them in water and instructed the
other monks to sip the elixir. As they drank it down heartily, they experienced the clarity and
vigor Khalid had described. The brew was proclaimed a miracle and was then used to keep
them awake during their evening prayers!

Click HERE for The Legend of Omar the Dervish.

Because of stories like this, coffee was first thought to have originated in Yemen on the Arabian peninsula when it was seen growing there by Europeans at a much later date. But the botanical evidence indicates that the coffee plant "Coffea Arabica" originated on the plateaus of central Ethiopia where it still grows wild. Somehow the Arab traders got the beans from Ethiopia across the Red Sea to Yemen around the 6th Century A.D.

African cultures were also using the bean prior to this...

as a solid food. The ripe berries were crushed by mortars, combined with animal
fats and shaped into round balls, which could be carried and eaten on long journeys. African warriors also ate the "coffee balls" before going into battle.

Part I - Journey To India . Part II - The Obsession . Part III - The Holy Drink . Part IV - The Coffee Houses . Part V - Coffee & Sex